Where History Meets Adventure

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Play & Explore in Matewan

Whether it’s a ride down the Tug or through the mountains, we take Wild and Wonderful seriously.

PLAY

Airboat tours

Hatfield & McCoy Airboat Tours operate from a dock directly adjacent to downtown Matewan. There are few ways to experience the beauty and history of the area more exciting than from the seat of an airboat propelled by a 550-horsepower engine. During the tour, riders will see the area’s rich history, speeding by historic locations of the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud.

Length of tours is catered to requests; a tour can last anywhere from 20-80 minutes and tours are usually available Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., but visitors are strongly advised to call for reservations.

To learn more about Airboat tours >



ATV TRAILS

New to Matewan is the Devil Anse Trailhead. The town now provides its visitors and residents access to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, a system in southern West Virginia of over 700 miles of off-roading trails. Matewan is a convenient destination for riders, by providing street-legal ATV riding, parking for trailers, and places to stay and eat with some good ol’ southern cookin’.

From the city center, Devil Anse allows access to the trail system and directly connects Matewan with the Buffalo Mountain Trailhead and the Rock House Trailhead, which altogether boast over 300 miles of trails. Riders can purchase permits to use the trails any day and any time. Because the trails are so extensive, there are several established trail systems within the Hatfield-McCoy trails, with each one offering a different experience.

For more information about ATV Trails >



Kayak Rentals

Kayaking is available from downtown, and has been growing in popularity in the area. Kayaks are available for rent at The Real McCoy Trails. Kayakers can explore and experience the Tug Fork River and its tributaries at their own pace.

For more information about kayak rentals >



Geocaching

A town with a history as rich as Matewan's is bound to have several hidden surprises. In most circumstances, these can only be found in one of the two museums, through talking to community members, or by stumbling upon them on an adventure around town.

There are some rewards that can only be found with coordinates and the help of GPS. Several geocaches are located in and around downtown Matewan. This scavenger hunt-like activity is fun for all ages and harkens back to the hobby of letterboxing.

To get started Geocachng in Matewan >



Bike Friendly

With the help of the Turn This Town Around initiative, Bike Friendly Matewan was created. As part of this initiative, a new bicycle station was built outside the Matewan Depot Replica Museum. Several map boards are found throughout downtown outlining possible routes for bikers to enjoy. Bike racks are also found throughout downtown, allowing visitors to take a break and enjoy some local cuisine, visit locally owned shops or take a better look at the history Matewan offers.

Bikers aren’t limited to riding on pavement. The trails that extend around Matewan are ideal for riders looking for either leisurely or challenging mountain biking. And unlike off-roading vehicles, bicyclists are not required to obtain a permit to use the trails.

To learn more about Bike Friendly Matewan >



Hatfield and McCoy Tours

The town of Matewan may be best known for its role in the famous Hatfield-McCoy feuds. Several important events surrounding the feud took place within town limits. But still, the story of the feud unravels in the areas surrounding Matewan.

The easiest way to fully understand the feud is to hear the story directly from a descendent—a McCoy.

Don and Kathy McCoy offer a tour of the feud sites. Of course you could simply ask for the story. But better yet, you could have Kathy McCoy herself drive you to the sites and tell you the history as you are looking at it. Another way to experience the history is to caravan to the sites on off-roading bikes and vehicles and to hear the stories from Don McCoy.

To reserve your own hatfield and mccoy tour >



Tug valley country club

The Tug Valley Country Club features a complete 9-hole green that spans West Virginia and Kentucky. The 3,003 yards of green offer a total par of 36. Located just 5 miles outside of Matewan, the course has golf clubs for rent and welcomes players of any skill level.

For more information about the tug valley country club >


Explore

Depot Museum

The Matewan Depot Replica Museum is a replica of the train depot that stood across the railroad tracks from downtown Matewan until the 1960s. The Depot is an almost exact replica of the depot that was once the social center of town, except it now contains pictures, stories, and artifacts that tell the history of Matewan through the century. The depot contains a brief but detailed glimpse into the town’s rich history. Also in the museum, you will find a gift shop that features artwork by local artists and other pieces that reflect the wild and wonderful Appalachian culture of Matewan.

Visitors can explore and experience the Matewan Depot Replica Museum at their own pace. The Depot also functions as a welcome center, so feel free to stop by and ask for tips about where to go and what to do.

For more information about the Matewan Depot Replica Museum >



Mine Wars Museum

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum opened in May 2015 to preserve and share the rich and colorful history of the local communities. Four months after its opening, the Mine Wars Museum was awarded the Coal Heritage Award for Interpretation.

The award-winning museum highlights the Battle of Matewan and the following labor uprising that would come to be known as the Battle of Blair Mountain – the largest labor uprising ever in the United States. These two events may have grabbed attention nationwide, but the museum features other remarkable pieces of lesser-known history attributed to the region.

The museum’s gift shop sells affiliated memorabilia and art created by the local artisan group. Hours of operation are subject to change with the tourist season.

To find out when you can take a self-guided tour of the Mine Wars museum >



FloodWall

The town of Matewan has a unique feature that surrounds the entire downtown area – a floodwall. The exterior of the wall tells the history of Matewan through carefully placed vertical fluting that forms an etched mural. This feature is a must-see in town. Visitors walking the path see the art on the floodwall while enjoying the Tug Fork River.

The floodwall may spend the majority of its time as a piece of information art, but it also serves an important function. According to the former mayor of Matewan, Robert McCoy, the town was once described as having the most severe flooding problem in the United States. This label was well earned, as according to McCoy, by 1984, the town had faced severe, property damaging flooding in 33 of the prior 35 years. The most catastrophic floods occurred in 1957, 1963, 1977 and 1984. You can see the heights that these floods reached on the steps that lead to the river, and even as high as the floodwall.

Relief came in 1992 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began constructing the 2,350-foot long floodwall. Since the construction of the wall, there hasn’t been an instance of significant flooding within the downtown Matewan area.



Growing Artisan Community

Work of the local artisan group can be found throughout Matewan. The group, which is an effort born of an initiative called Turn This Town Around, has worked on beatification projects that include sprucing up old signs and painting scenes on unadorned cement walls.

The group brings together members of the community to share, learn, and apply new skills that can, in turn, improve the wider community.

Another goal of the group is to provide local youths with safe and educational after-school and weekend activities. The beautification movement in Matewan has been growing in popularity, and the artisan group continues to gain more members, as it helps the town share its history and welcome visitors.



hatfield cemetery

Pieces of the Hatfield-McCoy feud are found throughout the region surrounding Matewan, but few pieces of the feud are as tangible as the Hatfield Family Cemetery. Twenty miles north of Matewan, the cemetery is slightly off the beaten path, and visiting the cemetery is likened to a historic hike.

The cemetery contains a life-size marble statue of Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield, marking his place of final rest. Although Devil Anse was the patriarch of his family, his children also lived interesting lives.

*Photo credit: Full credit to Jerry Waters

To learn more about the Hatfield Family Cemetery >



Coal House

The Coal House was the first building to be made of coal in the state of West Virginia. Although the building has never been a home, it is currently the location of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce. The building was constructed in 1933 with 65 tons of coal, donated from the local Winifrede coal seam. The building underwent extensive reconstruction in 2011 after damage to the exterior and interior of the building.

To learn more about the Coal House >



Blair Mountain

Following the Matewan Massacre, the Battle of Blair Mountain of 1921 turned into the largest labor uprising in the United States. Thousands of mine workers took up arms to protest working conditions created by mine companies. The ensuing battle took place over five days with 10,000 miners confronting 3,000 hired minutemen of the coal companies. The battle didn’t stop until the United States Army intervened.

In the short term, this battle was a defeat for coal unions, as membership plummeted; however, the long-term impact was more organized and prepared unions to gain influence during the Great Depression.



Motorcycle Ride - Buffalo Mountain Loop

Buffalo Mountain Loop (43 miles)

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This scenic route takes riders through Matewan, Delbarton, and Williamson, West Virginia. This route aquired its name because it circles the picturesque Buffalo Mountain. Starting in Matewan:

  • Take Rt 65 N to Delbarton
  • When in Delbarton, continue on Rt. 65 to US 119 S to Williamson
  • Once in Williamson, take US 52 to Rt. 49 S to return to Matewan


motorcycle ride - dingess tunnel

Dingess Tunnel Ride (143 miles)

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This route brings riders past Lauren Lake and through an old single-lane railroad tunnel before accessing East Lynn Lake.

  • Take Rt. 65 N to 119 intersection to Lenore
  • From there, take Laurel Creek Road (County road 3/5) to Laurel Lake
  • Travel on Laurel Creek Road toward Dingess. Ride through the railroad tunnel, and turn onto Moses Fork Road for 1.5 miles
  • Turn left at the stop sign and continue on Moses Fork Road until you take a left on Mud Fork North, which becomes Big Harts Creek Road
  • Turn onto Rt. 10 N and continue until turning on Rt. 37 E to Easy Lynn Lake
  • Take Rt. 37 E to Big Lynn Road (Rt. 30). Continue on Big Lynn Road to Rt. 152 S
  • Take US 52 S through Kermit to US 119 S/US 52 to Williamson and Buffalo Mountain Loop


motorcycle ride - hatfield-mccoy site tour

Hatfield-McCoy Site Tour (61 miles)

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Explore the Hatfield-McCoy Family sites and Stomping Grounds. The stopping points are the Matewan Depot Replica, Hatfield Cemetery, The Coal House, Hog Trial Cabin and Paw Paw Tree Incident

  • Take Rt. 65 N from Matewan to US 52 S to Rt. 44 N and travel 4.6 miles to the Hatfield Cemetery
  • Hatfield Cemetery is across single lane bridge and walk up hill
  • Travel Rt. 44 N (3.5 Miles) and make a left onto Cow Creek Road (Co. Hwy. 13), which turns into Rockhouse Fork Road into Delbarton
  • Take Rt. 65 S to US 52 N to Williamson
  • The Coal House is on 2nd Street. Go under Railroad at Harvey Street and make a left onto 2nd Street
  • Take US 119 S from Williamson into Kentucky and turn left onto Rt. 319 (3 miles)
  • Travel Rt. 319 to Rt. 1056
  • The Hog Trial Cabin is on Corner
  • Make a left onto Rt. 1056. Travel Rt. 1056 (2 miles)
  • Paw Paw tree incident is on the right
  • Continue on and cross the river into Matewan, West Virginia.


motorcycle ride - breaks interstate park

Breaks Interstate Park Ride (121 miles)

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Travel twisty roads to Breaks Interstate Park in Virginia.

  • Take Rt. 49 S from Matewan to Delorme, cross over into Kentucky
  • Continue on KY-194 W and turn left at Rt.1499. (21 miles)
  • Travel on KY-1499 and continue onto US-460 E (10 miles) (Entering Virginia)
  • Turn right onto Rt. 610 (9 miles)
  • Turn left onto VA-80 E (2 miles)
  • Turn right onto Rt. 702
  • Enter Breaks Interstate Park
  • Turn right onto Rt. 702
  • Turn left onto VA-80 W, enter Kentucky and continue on KY-80 W (31 miles)
  • Turn right onto US-119 N to Williamson and Rt. 49 to Matewan


motorcycle ride - coal heritage

Coal Heritage Ride (169 miles)

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This ride takes you through the mountain roads of the southern coalfields passing by scenic R.D Bailey Lake, Twin Falls State Park and Panther Wildlife Management Area.

From Matewan take Rt.65 N then turn right onto US 52 S through Gilbert and Justice.

  • R.D Bailey Lake Visitor Center is past Justice off of US 52
  • Long Branch Overlook is down US 52 S to Rt. 97 E. Go 2 miles to Coal Mountain Road (Co. Rd. 6/2) and continue on for 1 mile
  • Take Rt. 97 E through Pineville to Bear Hole Road then to Twin Falls State Park
  • Take Co. Rd. 10/13 south and make a right onto Rt. 16 S to Welch
  • Take US 52 N to Laeger
  • Take US 52 N turn left onto Co. Rd. 1 to Panther
  • Turn left (SW) on to Co. Rd. 3. Cross over in to Virginia and the road changes to Rt. 646
  • Turn right onto Rt. 697 N, which changes into KY-194 W crossing into Kentucky
  • Turn onto Rt. 49 N toward Delorme crossing back into West Virginia. Travel Rt. 49 N to Matewan


motorcycle ride - new river gorge

New River Gorge Ride (239 miles)

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Ride to the New River Gorge and cross a large arch bridge.

  • From Matewan, take Rt. 65 N then right on US 52 S through Gilbert and Justice
  • Turn left at Rt. 97 E (8.7 miles)
  • Turn left at Rt. 971 N and continue onto Cook Pkwy into Oceana (11.6 miles)
  • Take Rt. 85 N (9.7 miles)
  • Turn on Rt. 99 E (14 miles) and continue on to Rt. 3 E (10.8 miles)
  • Take I-64 W/I-77 N (3 miles)
  • Take exit 48 for US-19 N (20 miles)
  • New River Gorge Bridge
  • Take US 19 N to US 60 W (Midland Trail) (5.4 miles)
  • Stop at New River Gorge Harley-Davidson
  • Travel US 60 W to I-64 W/ I-77 N
  • Take I-64 W to exit 89 Rt. 94 S (4.6 miles)
  • Take Rt. 94 S (10 miles) and continue on Rt. 3 W (13.6 miles) to US 119 S
  • Take US 119 S toward Williamson and Buffalo Mtn. Loop
  • Stop at Mountain State Harley-Davidson on US-119


motorcycle ride - Fishtrap

Fishtrap Ride (68 miles)

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Travel twisty roads to Fishtrap Lake.

  • Take Rt. 49 S from Matewan to Delorme, cross over into Kentucky
  • Continue on KY-194 W to Fishtrap Lake (21 miles)
  • Continue on Ky-194 W to Upper Johns Creek and turn right (6 miles)
  • Take Upper Johns Creek (Rt. 632)(11.3 miles)
  • Sharp left onto Calloway Branch (4 miles)
  • Turn right onto Left Fork Blackberry Rd. (2.5 miles)
  • Turn right onto Rt. 1056 and that will take you back to Matewan


Motorcycle ride - Feud Stomping Grounds Loop

Feud Stomping Grounds Loop (44 miles)

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Travel the twisty & hilly back roads following the borders of West Virginia and Kentucky.

  • Take Rt. 49 S from Matewan to Delorme, cross over into Kentucky and turn right onto Rt. 319 (Pounding Mill Road)
  • Turn left onto Rt. 1056 S follow onto Pond Creek Road over mountain to Rt. 199 N
  • Take US 119 N to Williamson. US 52 S and Rt. 49 takes you back to Matewan

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IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“...WAY more than we expected”

You have not done “wild and wonderful” until you’ve done this tour. It was WAY more than we expected. There was nothing better than flying down the Tug River and seeing all the majestic views from an airboat.”

- Amber from Ruther Glen, VA, about Hatfield McCoy Airboat Tours